Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP)

Competency Group: Business

Type: Process

Description: Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP): A decision-making tool for complex, multi-criteria problems where both qualitative and quantitative aspects of a problem need to be incorporated. AHP clusters decision elements according to their common characteristics into a hierarchical structure similar to a family tree or affinity chart. Rather than prescribing a "correct" decision, the AHP helps decision makers find one that best suits their goal and their understanding of the problem. It provides a comprehensive and rational framework for comparing decision alternatives by representing and quantifying their elements, for relating those elements to overall goals, and for evaluating alternative solutions.

Citation for Description: Product Development and Management Association. (2011). The PDMA glossary for new product development. Retrieved from

Advantages: Allows the gathering of many disparate amounts of information into functional groups.

Limitations: Can be very time consuming and may require expensive outsourcing.

Target Audience: Top management, Marketing, R&D

Relevant to Universal Design: Yes

Stages and Steps: 4.11, 4.12

Free Resource: Hollowell, D. L. (2012). Analytical hierarchy process (AHP): Getting oriented. Retrieved from iSixSigma website: